|Igor Astarloa in 2006|
(image credit: Heidas CC BY-SA 3.0)
In 2007 he'd moved again to Milram but was dramatically sacked from the team on the 29th of May 2008 after an anti-doping test revealed irregular blood values. He found a new contract with Amica Chips-Knauf, but that team folded in May 2009. One month later, he became one of the first riders to fall victim to the UCI's newly-introduced Biological Passport, a programme that keeps an accurate record of haematocrit counts, steroid profiles, whereabouts and other data in an effort to make it almost impossible for riders to use performance-enhancing drugs without detection. This left him unable to find a new contract and he announced his retirement at the beginning of 2010.
On the 1st of December 2010, the Spanish Cycling Federation handed Astarloa a €35,000 fine and a two year ban which, since he was approaching the age of 35, effectively ended his career even if he decided to come out of retirement should a team be willing to take him on. Cycling News later revealed that the rider had been under suspicion since as long ago as his 2003 World Championships victory with his test results becoming subject to considerable scrutiny during 2008 and 2009 in the wake of the results that led to his dismissal from Milram, but investigation had not found sufficient evidence at that time to prosecute.
Other than his World Champion title, Astarloa's best results were overall General Classification wins at the Flèche Wallonne in 2003 and Milano-Torino in 2006.
Evy van Damme, born in Lokeren, Belgium on this day in 1980, won the Novices National Road Race Championship in 1996, later becoming National Road Race Champion in 2000 and 2001 and National Time Trial Champion in 2003. She is married to Nick Nuyens, winner of the 2005 Tour of Britain and 2011 Tour of Flanders, and her younger sister Charlotte is also a professional cyclist.
Pasquale Fornara, born in Borgomanero, Italy on this day in 1925, won his fourth Tour de Suisse in 1958 - a record not yet broken (others: 1952, 1954, 1957 - when he also won the King of the Mountains). He rode well in the Grand Tours, coming 3rd overall and the Mountains Classification in the 1953 Giro d'Italia, 2nd overall at the 1958 Vuelta a Espana and 4th overall at the 1955 Tour de France.
|Hyderabad Bicycling Club Enduro Team|
Other cyclists born on this day: Jon Norfolk (Great Britain, 1975); Milton Wynants (Uruguay, 1972); Jozef Regec (Czechoslovakia, 1965); Erik Cent (Netherlands, 1962); Weng Yu-Yi (Taipei, 1973); Benjamin Evangelista (Philippines, 1949); Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands, 1984); Jalil Eftekhari (Iran, 1965); Jan Bos (Netherlands, 1975); Lionel Coleman (Canada, 1918, died 1941); Michelle Hyland (New Zealand, 1984); José Castañeda (Mexico, 1952); Jarich Bakker (Netherlands, 1974); Les Haupt (South Africa, 1939).